Get your Pap Smear Facts Right.
- 10 Months ago
Did your gynecologist advice you to undergo a Pap smear test when you visited her last time? And you delay it every time thinking it is a painful procedure? So let me brief you about this life saving screening test for all the women out there.
What is Pap smear?: Pap smear is a test to screen potentially pre-cancerous and cancerous cells in the cervix of the female reproductive system. The Pap test is a painless and invasive procedure that can detect the presence of any kind of infection and abnormal cell growth that can lead to cancer.
Who should undergo Pap test? : Every woman above the age of 21years should undergo Pap test and pelvic examination once in every two years as a part of their routine health check up. Women with post menopause status also need regular Pap Tests and after the age of 65 years, one can stop after 3 normal Pap smear tests and no abnormal results in the past ten years.
Understanding Pap smear results:
Normal: The normal values mean that there is no abnormal cell growth. You can check with your doctor for a more specified explanation of your report.
• ASCUS or AGUS: It means atypical cell with unknown significance are present. The changes occurred may be due to presence of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) known to cause genital warts. This may also mean that the changes may lead to cancer.
• LSIL (Low grade dysplasia) or HSIL (High grade dysplasia): This means pre-cancerous changes may be present. The cervical cancer risk is greater with HSIL.
• Carcinoma in situ (CIS): This means the abnormal changes may lead to cancer.
• Atypical Glandular cells: Cell changes that may lead to cancer are seen in the upper part of the cervical canal or inside the uterus.
When the Pap smear shows abnormal changes, further follow up is needed to assess the changes and proceed with an appropriate treatment.
Follow up test may include:
• An HPV test to identify the presence of Human Papilloma Virus types that may be responsible to cause cancer.
Do not delay to get your Pap test done and understand what your report says. This understanding should help you better to reach out to the doctor and know what treatment is right for you because we all know," Prevention is better than Cure"!